The sacred oil that will be used to anoint King Charles III at his coronation May 6, has been consecrated at a Christian holy site in Jerusalem, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The “chrism oil” was created using olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives, a mountain ridge to the east of Jerusalem’s Old City, which holds religious importance to Christians.
Olives from the Monastery of Mary Magdalene and the Monastery of the Ascension were pressed just outside Bethlehem, where Christians believe Jesus was born, according to a statement.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he wanted to see a new oil produced from the olives from the Mount of Olives since planning for the coronation began.
“This demonstrates the deep historic link between the Coronation, the Bible and the Holy Land. From ancient kings through to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place. As we prepare to anoint The King and The Queen Consort, I pray that they would be guided and strengthened by the Holy Spirit,” he said in the statement.
On coronation day, the Archbishop of Canterbury will perform the anointing service, a duty which has been undertaken by the post since 1066.
A ceremony at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, saw the consecration of the oil on Friday. It was held by the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III, and the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, The Most Reverend Hosam Naoum. Christians believe Jesus was crucified where the Holy Sepulchre now stands.
Charles’ coronation oil is based on the centuries-old formula used in his mother, Queen Elizabeth II’s anointment in 1953, but with some important differences.
The late Queen’s coronation oil included a concoction of orange, rose, cinnamon, musk and ambergris oils. Ambergris is a substance that originates from the intestine of the sperm whale.
The King’s sacred mix is made of oils of sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin, amber and orange blossom – without any ingredients from animals.
It will also be used to anoint Camilla, the Queen Consort, the statement added.